Ashton's book Necromancer Rising caught my attention right from the get-go. The cover is super intriguing (view it at the end of the interview!) and the blurb enticing. I mean it has the Morrigan in it! Right up my alley.
Ashton's become a great friend in the indie world, and I'm thrilled she agreed to an interview. 😊
BIO: Ashton Abbott is a home body with a passion for all things paranormal. She lives in the midwest with her husband and two children. Ashton has a penchant for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, Minecraft, and getting lost in a good book.
How did you come up with the story concept for The Goddesses of The Morrigan Series?
I had introduced The Morrigan into my Raedan Warrior Series as 'the bad guy' and couldn't get her out of my head. I had done so much research on her and the three goddesses that make her and they were so complex; none of them strictly 'good' or 'bad'. It made me want to make a separate series to tell their perspective and give a backstory. The series is definitely anti-hero dark fantasy but through the books you are able to see them in all their multi-faceted glory.
What do you love about writing fantasy and paranormal romance? What do you hate (or maybe just dislike) about it?
I love all things supernatural so being able to create worlds with a plethora of mythical creatures/gods/goddesses is a great creative, therapeutic release. Writing story lines with strong women and tying in the relationships that go along with it is a dream come true. I especially love that I can show the vulnerabilities and obstacles of the characters, then show them overcoming and shining through the hard times. Breathing life into these creatures and then having them almost take the reins in my writing process is also awesome. I will have a strong outline going in but the characters have a way of guiding me through and tweaking things along the way to make it theirs. What do I dislike? Hmmmm... probably the self-inflicted pressure and stress that comes from making myself so vulnerable by putting out something so near and dear to my heart. My writing is my therapy. There is so much excitement that comes from putting out a new release but the nerves are also definitely there.
When it comes to world-building do you have any particular tricks or techniques?
The first step is finding a spark of an idea and seeing how far you can go with it in your mind. I will daydream for days about a particular world and see if I can follow the path from the ground up. I ask about a million questions while I'm dreaming it up. What does it look like? How similar is it to my world? How different is it from my world? What makes is amazing? What makes is scary? Who lives there? How is it relatable? Etc... There are so many worlds/plots that have started out seeming like a great idea but I just can't make myself either build it completely or lose interest. If I am losing interest as the creator there is no way the reader will be able to keep their focus. So begin with it in your mind, dream it, and see if it's just a nook of passing interest or a full scale castle in the clouds you can't stop thinking about.
What was the most difficult part of the publishing process for you?
I am an indie author so the hardest part of the publishing process is advertising. I'm a little fish in a big pond so getting recognized is no easy feat. It is literally a learn-as-you-go experience with tons of failures paired with those silver linings where you find something that works. It is very humbling but you just have to keep pushing yourself and treat everything as a learning experience.
What does your writing space look like?
I have an office with crystals, figurines, low lighting, and a stash of chocolate. It has a really calming feel and as soon as I sit in my desk chair I am in the zone... unless writer's block has claimed me or my kiddos are causing utter chaos. Haha. I also go to a small, hole in the wall coffee shop every Tuesday. I sit at the same table in the corner and order the same coffee. I put on my headphones and just write for a couple hours. It is my little bubble and I love it.
What are your tricks for juggling writing while maintaining a personal life?
I have two kiddos so my writing obviously isn't coming first. My husband works a lot of hours so I also want to spend what time with him that I can. At first I would completely stress myself out and do the whole guilt-myself-into-depression thing when I first started my writing journey. I deal with depression/anxiety so adding something so precious and time consuming into my already busy world was a huge task to balance. I would either go all out on my writing and give the kids more screen time than they needed, spend a sliver of time with my husband then retreat to my writing space or I would drop my writing for weeks and focus on my family. It took some time to find a happy medium but the key was easing up on myself and enjoying the process instead of stressing constantly. As far as a social life, I'm a stage five hermit with social anxiety so it's not an issue to go without. Haha.
What's the best piece of advice you've received about writing?
Let it flow.
I wish I could credit someone but it was just a random meme that caught my eye. When you allow yourself to relax and enjoy what you're doing you get such an awesome rhythm. Flow can't be forced, you just have to let it come to you.
What is the best book you’ve read recently?
Oh man, this is a tough one. I would have to say Hollow Heathens by Nicole Fiorina. Her world building is awesome and the story is absolutely addictive. She writes with such emotion and urgency that you can't help but be pulled in.